Native, video, and post-millennials at Advertising Week 2015

Panelists on the third day of Advertising Week 2015 discussed video’s future and the digital-native generation.

The Second Coming of Video: Native, Instant, In-Feed

Between new formats, new devices, and new measurement paradigms, the advertising ecosystem seems to be changing by the month. The rise of native has been precipitous, but not much talk has been devoted to how video will play into this new ad format. Yahoo’s Leo Polanowski was joined by Raymond Brillantes-Green, VP of Partnerships and Investment at DigitasLBI for a conversation on the future of video and native, moderated by TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha.

For advertisers, getting into a new channel is about more than making a presence. It’s about knowing what is appropriate for each channel. Are you repackaging a TV ad for digital? Is that appropriate for your campaign and audience? It’s vital to think about the environment in which your creative will live, and make sure that your ads fit the milieu where they’re placed. This includes tone as well as length and form factor. Making sure the content of your ad fits thematically with the inventory is crucial. It may be more work, but it’s worth the effort.

The key to the success of native video will be leveraging data to understand how to improve the ad experience—data may tell you to cater specific creatives to specific audiences, or place your creative in apps (demand in the Flurry universe, for instance, is substantial). It may even tell you how to take part in the conversation your audience is having.

Whatever the future of native holds, one thing was clear from the conversation: video will play a huge part. What might we be looking at next year? According to the panelists, it’ll be interactivity, virtual reality, connected TVs, and offline measurement.

Get Inspired: Content Marketing that Works

Tumblr has partnered with many brands (like Universal Pictures and Unilever) to create unique ad campaigns and materials using their Creatr network, a new resource for brands leveraging the top artists on Tumblr to create branded material.

Campaign planning has changed in response to behavioral changes in the public. Brands are shifting their strategies—where once they were looking to simply market to consumers, they are looking to tell meaningful stories to people. They want more than awareness for their brands; they want the brands to be a part of their consumers’ lives.

When trying to connect on that level with an audience—especially a younger audience—it is paramount to maintain relevance. The best way to do that is through thoughtful content marketing. Making use of a platform like Tumblr’s Creatrs enables brands and advertisers to connect with the voices that resonate with audiences, and work with them to create powerful experiences for consumers.

Going Vertical: Keys to Success

Slated to be a conversation about vertical video formats, this conversation turned toward the philosophical, landing in the realm of best practices for creative, beyond strategy and targeting. The group discussed what they believed the best approach for video advertising is, given shifts in consumption practices and user perceptions of ads.

The group featured representatives from Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube, and other video-related ad tech groups, and began by discussing the key trends taking place in video. The verdict? Video is astoundingly huge—and always growing—and consumers are looking for cross-device experiences that connect with the media they consume.

The panelists were of two minds about a rather important facet of digital video advertising, and while there was agreement at the end of the panel, the conversation took a fascinating turn throughout. On the one hand is the notion that using short ads, hitting high reach numbers, and heavily branding the first few seconds of the ad is the best way to build a successful campaign. On the other, the idea that meaningful longer-form content that resonates with a smaller number of viewers is better for brands. The disagreement about this central theme was brief, however, when the panelists came to a simple conclusion: there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to digital video ad campaigns. At the end of the day each campaign is necessarily unique, and using data and making thoughtful decisions is the best way to ensure success.

Decoding the Digital Habits of the Post-Millennial Generation

Generation Z, they’re called. The first truly digital-native generation, for whom the advanced technologies we wholly rely on today have always been available. As as result, they have a completely different way of relating to the world than the rest of us, for whom a time before the internet is an actual memory.

Generation Z is ethnically diverse, and strongly interested in equality and justice. They are less interested in “traditional” fame than in internet fame: a dream they all feel is perfectly attainable. Because of their internet denizenship, they power the economy of the future: Generation Z wields an astonishing $44B in spending power.

So how can brands connect with post-millennials? By looking at how they connect with each other. Tumblr is host to 250 million blogs, all of which center on creating and sharing content with the community. Brands that excel at using Tumblr to connect with Gen Z are the ones who follow the format of the platform: using gifs, rich media, beautiful photography, and a fearlessness to experiment with different forms of expression. The Creatrs platform is one of the best ways for brands to jumpstart their Tumblr experience, by bringing together brands that want to connect with Generation Z, and the creators who’ve already captivated them.